Craft August Sessions with Wicklow Wolf, Whiplash, Bullhouse and Rascals
Wicklow Wolf Pocket Dial Juicy IPA 4.2% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys
This recent Wicklow Wolf beer, tagged as a modern hazy IPA, is called Pocket Dial and is a Juicy IPA, double dry hopped with Citra, Centennial and Idaho 7.
Colour is orange, hazy of course, with a bubbly white head. Expect citrus and tropical flavours with soft stone fruit undertones, they say. And you get that, with a bit more, from the all-American hop line-up. It is clean and refreshing though, well-balanced even if tilted more towards the hop lovers, that tilt enhanced by the double dry hopping.
Very Highly Recommended.
Pocket Dial is best enjoyed with friends and with your phone on silent. But where did that name come from? Our direct line to the lair explains: “…inspired by the countless times we've all been pocket dialled by Quincey (the founder & CEO) and the numerous overheard conversations on the other end of the line”.
Hops: Citra, Centennial& Idaho 7 .
Malts: Pale Ale, Wheat, Cara Ruby, Oats
Pocket Dial is number 38 in the brewery’s Endangered Species brews, a series of small batch, limited edition crafted beers. These beers are so rare that only a lucky few will get to experience them in the wild before they become extinct.
Catch it while you can!
Whiplash Rollover Session IPA 3.8% ABV, 330ml can, No 21 Coburg Street
Looking for a decent session beer? No shortage but my go-to is this Whiplash Rollover. Murky orange is the colour - no way you’re going to see through this haze! This was our session beer of 2020 and this most recent tasting confirmed it’s as likeable as ever.
Pale yellow colour with a short-lived white head over a hazy body. Citrus fronts the aromatics. And the quartet of hops dominate the palate. Amazing that this has so much hops and still weighs in at less than 4.00% ABV. Quite a concentration of hops then, before a lip-smacking finalé.
They say: Same hop rate as our DIPA’s, less than half the alcohol. A very heavily hopped Session IPA: this comes at you with buckets of Simcoe, Ekuanot, Citra and Mosaic hops with a light touch of malts and an easy crushable body. Unfiltered, hazy, hoppy and juicy – Rollover is a New England inspired IPA without the heavy alcohol in tow.
With its burst of aromas and flavours and low ABV, this is what a session beer is all about and is Very Highly Recommended.
Very Highly Recommended
Bullhouse Road Trippin’ Extra Pale 4.0% ABV, 440 ml can No 21 Coburg St
“Everyday beer for the everyday hero. Showcasing our love of Citra.”
That’s the introduction to their Extra Pale by Belfast Brewery Bullhouse.
It is pale for sure and a murky one at that, with a short-lived head. Citrus notes top the aromas and play the top flavour role as well. I’ve read, in more than one place, that this is a “Citrus banger”. I can agree with that but don't worry it won't blow your head off. It is quite supple and nicely hoppy and thanks to the deployment of the extra pale base and house yeast, is an easy-drinking ale, fresh, crisp and clean
Malts - Pale, Dextrin, Oats, Wheat
Hops - Citra (10g/L)
Yeast - AY5
All 440ml Cans
The story of Bullhouse Brew Co began in 2011, when founder Willy Mayne got a taste for great beer on a road trip around the west coast of the US with his brother. Visiting Green Flash Brewery in San Diego was the epiphany moment. Drinking flavoursome beers on an out-of-town industrial estate on a Friday afternoon with a mix of local office and factory workers and seeing how beer and particularly breweries can be an integral part of the community was a real eye-opener.
Back home, Willy started homebrewing on the farm he grew up on just outside Belfast. Four years, he set to work converting the old bull’s house into a tiny 500sq ft brewery. Twelve months later, he converted the Bullhouse into a small brewery, buying second-hand equipment from dairy farms and other breweries across Ireland, including a mash tun made from a converted catering fridge. Starting a commercial brewery for £600 doesn’t result in anything too pretty, but it was something, and it made some tasty beer.
Good to report that the beers are still tasty, even if production methods now are a bit more sophisticated.
Rascals Happy Days Session Pale Ale, 4.1% ABV, 330 ml can Bradleys
Expect hints of Passionfruit and honeydew Melon.
That’s what the label indicates on my unfiltered, unpasteurised 330 ml can from Bradleys. Brewers Rascal also sell this in 5-litre mini-kegs, ideal if you are planning a session.
“There's any and every reason to have one of our mini-kegs chilling in your fridge. Best consumed within 24 hours of opening, these little beauties are an ideal way to have fresh Rascals on tap for you and your gathering. Pick one up at Rascals HQ Inchicore (open Mon-Fri from 4pm, Sat & Sun from 1pm) or buy one online and we'll deliver.”
An attractive alternative to all the hassle of party organising is to head over to the Rascals HQ in Inchicore. Grab yourself one of their pizzas and a pint poured straight from the tap, sit down and enjoy the tap-room experience!
And that Passionfruit and Melon? Well yes, it is there, on a well-balanced palate as the hops shine through. Nothing too heavy though, just a pleasant summer thirst quencher.